Books I Read in 2018

January 5, 2019

For the past several years, I have put out a list of the books that I read in the previous year.  Of course, the Bible is always a part of my regular reading.  I also don’t include books that I may have started and didn’t complete.

images-1.jpegThis year, my list is a bit shorter than usual.  I decided this past year that I would add to my learning by listening to podcasts, as well as reading and listening to books.  Besides books, the podcasts that I listened to on a mostly weekly basis were:

  •  Craig Groeschel
  • FreshLife Church:  Levi Lusko
  • Gateway Church:  Robert Morris
  • Elevation Church:  Steven Furtick

I plan to continue this practice in 2019, as well.  Usually, listening to these podcasts are part of my morning routine as I walk the dogs or drink my morning coffee.

I also divided my books into two categories this year:  Spiritual and Business.

Feeding The Soul
  1. The Daniel Dilemma, Chris Hodge. 
    091538.jpgGreat book about how a Christ follower should navigate the culture without being changed by it in a negative way.  Chris Hodge takes the example of Daniel in the Bible and does a great job of relating to today.
  2. Win From Within, John Gray. Interesting read as Gray talks about his own struggles and how God has helped him overcome them.
  3. Whisper:  How to Hear The Voice of God, Mark Batterson
  4. The God I Never Knew, Robert Morris. Great book by 729722.jpgRobert Morris on the Holy Spirit and how He works in our lives.  He shares how he became more acquainted with the person of the Trinity that many are a bit afraid of getting to know more.
  5. Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, Howard Taylor and Gregg Lewis
  6. Own The Moment, Carl Lentz. Lentz shares, in a very down to Earth way, his ideas on materialism, raising kids, and simply living for Christ in a messed up world.
  7. Come and See, Todd Wagner. Wagner encourages believers to get back to the Scripture in our relationships with other believers.  He shows us how the church has slipped away a bit in areas and how we can get back to what Scripture intended.
Business & Real Estate Books
  1. Fanatical Prospecting, Jeb Blount
  2. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Gary Keller
  3. The One Thing, Gary Keller. This is the book that 31bLXJwHXlL._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgsurprised me the most this past year.  I expected a business and real estate book and what I got was an encouragement to focus on what’s important in life and business.
  4. Start With Why, Simon Sinek. Why do we do what we do.  If we know “WHY?”, that drives us to be our best.
  5. Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss
  6. The 12 Week Year, Brian P. Moran
  7. The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod
  8. The 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins

What books or podcasts should be on my list to read or listen to this coming year?


Other Related Posts:

2017: Books I Read This Past Year

I don’t want to lead a “church”.  That probably sounds weird since I’m a pastor of a church.    By saying that, I mean “church” as most in America probably would define the term.         (BTW, I LOVE leading MJLife!)

Most would define “church” as something you go to on Sundays.  I’ve been guilty of slipping into the mindset at times too.  Living for each Sunday. Concentrating on how to “inspire” the masses that come to church on Sunday.

While MJLife certainly assembles on Sunday and we think it is HIGHLY important to be committed to coming EVERY Sunday if you are a part of our fellowship, our goal and mission is NOT to get people to come to “church” on Sundays.

Our goal is to “help people move from where they are to where God wants them to be.”

I believe if we’re successful at that, “church” becomes more than just getting the numbers up on Sundays for an hour long meeting.  It’s about a movement that happens between the Sundays.  Sundays would be a time that those in the movement would get together to encourage each other, learn a bit, continue worshipping God, and get ready to keep the movement going for the next week.

The movement that I’m pushing looks like this:

  • Families praying with their kids and sharing their ministries with them.
  • People seeing difficult people with God’s eyes and responding the way He wants them to respond.
  • Releasing people to minister where GOD leads them to serve in the community.
  • Believers keeping an eye out for evidence of God at work and running to join Him, no matter how inconvenient it is at them moment.
  • People rearranging their entire lives to get in line with living how God wants them to live.
  • Those labeled “sinners” by the religious (as if we all aren’t sinners) being loved on with no strings attached.
  • People radically sold out to the message to love that Jesus talked about.

MJLife now has a building, but that’s not the church.  We’re the church and we’re part of a movement.  God is moving.  We need to join Him and work with Him.

Around us at work, in the neighborhood, and in the grocery store are people that are hurting.  They may or may not look like us, but they are filled with broken dreams and disappointments.  Their dream marriages have broken up.  Kids have rebelled.  Some are attracted to the opposite sex.  Bank accounts are empty.  Some have lost their jobs.

People matter to Him, even if they aren’t very religious.  Jesus loved the unlovable.  MJLife is not and well NEVER be the perfect “church” but we have the perfect Savior who forgives us.  He loves people.  He accepts everyone as they are.  He encourages them to take their next steps.   He started a movement.  We just want to keep it going everyday of the week and do our part here in our area.  If He leads outside of the area, we want to be ready to follow Him there too.

We want to help people, no matter where they are in their journey, to go from where they are to where God wants them to be….  And we’re moving to get there ourselves at the same time.

I was at the gym this week and it was pretty packed.  I was working hard and sweating.  (You didn’t think I keep looking like this by sitting on the couch, did you?)  Anyway, as the sweat was totally dripping off of my face I noticed a guy all the way across the gym.  He was waving.  I didn’t recognize him.  I didn’t know if he was waving at me or waving at one of the many people behind me.

At this point, I had a choice to make…

*Do I wave back at him and risk looking like a dork if he was waving at one of the many people behind me?

*Do I ignore him, when I am obviously looking in that direction, and look like a jerk.  Maybe he visited the church, recognized me, and got out the door before I met him.

*Do I turn around and look behind me to see if it is me or someone behind me that he is waving at?

*Do I give the “head nod,” smile, and say a “hey”.

That’s the one I chose.  I still don’t know if it was me but hopefully I got all of the bases covered with my decision.

The problem in this situation was that I didn’t know what my relationship was to this guy.  I didn’t know if he was a stranger, work out partner, old high school friend that looked older so I didn’t recognize him. I wasn’t sure about our relationship.

Sometimes in relationships where there are two single people of the opposite sex that spend alot of time together, one begins to feel strongly about the other.  One thinks they are just friends while the other one is madly in love.  As things start to get goofy and the relationship is misunderstood, a DTR needs to take place.  (Define The Relationship)  Are we still just friends or are we more than that now?

Jesus gave the disciples a DTR as to how believers should be treating each other.  Here it is from John 13:34-35

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Did you get that last part?  “Your love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples”

People need to know that we’re different and that needs to start WITHIN THE WALLS of the church.  We should be encouraging each other, lifting each other up, and loving each other.  The love should be so thick INSIDE the church that it bleeds OUTSIDE the doors.

Believers should be loving each other by:

  • Caring for the sick
  • Keeping each other’s kids
  • Taking meals during pregnancies, hospital stays, and funerals
  • Visiting hospitals and funerals when people from the church are involved
  • Keeping an eye open for opportunities to bless each other

This doesn’t just include people in the church that we like.  Let’s go ahead and admit it.  There are people that are harder to love than others in the body of Christ.  Here’s what the Word says about that:

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  -Matthew 5:46

Anybody can love the easy to love.  Love each other INSIDE the walls and those OUTSIDE the walls will notice a difference!

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  -John 13:35